The Grist Mill Manual For Housekeeping

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Housekeeping is a skill that cannot be mastered only through books. You need to have some practical experience. I also know that people do not learn from others’ mistakes, but as a sensible, conscientious, and compassionate human being, it is my duty to dispense the knowledge and wisdom that I have acquired after many trials and errors.

If you are not involved in household affairs yourself, find out who is. It might be your spouse, parent, or servant. Print these housekeeping tips on a paper and present it to that person.

Yours truly imparting wisdom to two of her friends.

Tip #1: Will you please watch this? I will start with this elementary tip for youngsters living with their parents. Remember, when one of your parents asks you to watch a pan over a gas stove, it means more than just watching. If there is tea or milk in the pan, you must switch off the gas before the contents of the pan boil over and spill. If there is a vegetable or rice dish being cooked, you need to switch off the burner before it starts burning. When I was a kid, no one had explained this to me, but everyone would be ready to label me as a-person-who-cannot-be-trusted after each mishap. I found such responsibilities very difficult to carry out. They were like taking a sick leave before you fell ill.

Tip #2: Something is burning. No it’s not my heart, or is it? Oh no, not again. I run to the kitchen, and salvage whatever I can of the aloo-gobhi. Whenever you leave anything on the burner and start checking Facebook, without fail you are caught unawares by the smell of something burning or spiral fumes. If this ever happens, immediately turn off the burner and transfer the unburned portion from the top into another pan. Never try to save the scraps from the bottom of the pan, because that will tarnish the appearance of your dish.

Tip #3: If your home is infested with insects, pest control services are not a solution. They will spray your house with harmful chemicals that could damage your health and the environment. Instead, follow nature and let the spiders help you. These eight-leggers are good at keeping a place insect-free by trapping the tiny troublesome creatures in their webs and sucking them dead. In the course of time, if the spiders become a nuisance to such an extent that they start spinning webs even on your body whenever you sit still for a few moments, it’s time for action. It means you have to be active all the time. If you are too lazy for that, then you would have to allow lizards into your home.

Tip #4: Always rinse your pots and pans just before cooking, especially the pressure cookers, because spiders and cobwebs even when cooked above 100 degree Celsius, have not been proven to be good for health, and lizards are said to be highly poisonous.

Tip #5: Keep the counter around the kitchen sink dry. This place is favored not only by invisible bacteria and mold, but if water is left to stagnate for a few days, a bunch of maggots will move in thinking it’s a recreational place. I don’t know where they come from, but I feel too much remorse washing those God’s tiny-tiny creatures down the drain, where they might become gandi naali ke keedhe.

Tip #6: Always buy dark-colored clothes, bed sheets, pillow covers, towels, etc. They help you save on detergent and your efforts. Washing them less frequently or not washing at all keeps them looking new for many years. Also, your guests would never be able to notice the lice and the bedbugs. For the same reason, keep your home dimly lit.

Tip #7: It’s perfectly fine to let the old crockery break, so that you can buy new ones, otherwise you’ll be stuck with the same old cups and saucers all your life. Similarly, don’t be too concerned about taking extra care when handling your materialistic possessions. Do not live a miserly life. If you do not consume your share of products on this earth, God will send you back repeatedly, and you will never attain ‘moksha.

Tip #8: If you have a part-time or a full-time servant, my advice to you is to leave a few trinkets of artificial jewelry and some cash—preferably Rs.100 notes—always lying around. This would make you look rich to your servant. If temptation gets the better of him and you find anything missing, you will always have a solid case to fire or blackmail him.

Tip #9: Never invite people to your home. They will not only soil your home, eat your food, and cut short your precious family time or resting time, but also demean your cooking and housekeeping skills behind your back. The worst visitors are those with preteen children. They unleash their kids full of unreleased energy at your place. Those same kids are kept under strict discipline at their own homes.

Tip #10: Instead of cleaning and decorating the home, spend your time and resources on grooming yourself, that too both mentally and physically, otherwise you will end up looking like a low-paid dim-wit servant. So groom yourself well and keep your house in such a mess that if despite your unwelcoming signals, someone drops by, he or she will have no interest in looking around at anything but you. For physical grooming, use dark makeup on eyes and lips to distract everyone from your glaring flaws. For mental grooming, click on 'Like' at the top of this Facebook page. It will make you a dignified member of an intelligent community.



  2. IHM, I was talking about the blog's Facebook page=> ...and you are already an esteemed member of the group as Bhartiya Grihanee :-)

  3. What an insight....Invaluable!

  4. need to think about tip no " 8"...loved your tips.

  5. Tip #11 - And above all, keep your most valuable learnings on housekeeping to yourself but blog about all the superfluous and funny ones. That way, you will always remain the best housekeeper in your circle of friends :)

  6. Wow!
    came to your blog after a long your articles a lot...kind of subtle humour :)
    Keep on writing

  7. @Mohit: Thanks a lot :-)

    @Sangeeta: Yes, you need to post these on your refrigerator!

    @Shalini: I have more info related to tip #8 to share with you.

    @Hemant: Shush…or they will find out those spiders and lizards are not real…. Thank you so much for joining the blog page!!

    @Ashish: I forgive you for not visiting regularly. I know you were busy with internship and all that….

  8. Thank You so much!!! You have no idea how useful this has been!!! Yes, I would also take the printout and pin it on the kitchen wall :)

  9. very helpful tips...thanks a lot.

  10. बहुत सही very true !

    चेतावनी :
    हेलमेट पहनकर these housekeeping tips दिया जाए

    धन्‍यवाद !

  11. Funny but really very good tips for housekeeping. #9 is so true. I do the exact opposite of #10 :D

  12. @Puja, @Jyotsna...I feel good that I'm making difference in my friends' lives!

    @Arkjesh: No helmet for me...Eggs and tomatoes are good for hair.

    @Ajay: Hostel room is good to try your housekeeping skills on a small scale...and don't take the vegetable quiz seriously. You are what you want to be!

  13. Loved it !!! How do you come up with such kind of thoughts.............Really enjoyed reading it.You made my day today..


  14. hahaha....Great humour !...and very useful and handy if adopted in real life!!lol

  15. Proud to be a dignified member of an intelligent community.jeevan dhanya ho gaya .

  16. Thanks Manoj K!!

    Thanks Kavita and Bindu for visiting this old post :-)


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